Mehul Choksi, one of India’s biggest fugitive billionaires has come up with yet another brilliant excuse for not returning to India in his appeal in a Mumbai court against the unbailable warrant issued against him by CBI. Choksi, as per reports, has claimed that he has threats to his life.
The threat perception has emerged from TV show callers. As per reports, Choksi’s lawyer has added further ‘evidence’ in his petition claiming that a caller on a TV debate stated that a special group of secret agents should be formed to track Choksi down and shoot him. The petition also lists that another caller on the same show also stated that Choksi should be shot and the anchor, instead of denouncing the statements, went ahead and laughed at them.
If these excuses feel too imaginative, here is what Choksi has claimed in his petition previously: He had appealed that since there are increasing cases of mob-lynching in India, Choksi fears for his life because his company has shut operations, the employees and debtors have not been paid. Choksi had appealed that he fears the people who have grievances against him will mob-lynch him.
Crafty excuses for avoiding jail term are not new in India. Recently, Vijay Mallya, another billionaire absconder, had appealed in UK courts that he cannot come back to India because Indian jails are ‘too gareeb’ for him. The CBI actually did a ‘face-lift’ of the prison cell meant for him in Pune’s Arthur Road jail. The jail cell now has a TV set, washing area, private toilet, access to a library and courtyard, natural lights and many such facilities. Though it may still be gareeb for a man who had a USD 93 million super luxury yacht named Indian Empress harboured in Malta.
Indian politicians, who otherwise enjoy excellent health and long careers, are known to develop ‘chest pain’ as soon as they are arrested. However crafty and cunning we think the politicians are, their excuses still look puny before our billionaires. After all, they are billionaires for a reason.
Take Mehul Choksi for example. While Mallya’s excuses can be criticised as ‘privileged, elitist, holier than thou etc, Choksi’s excuses are taken right off the Indian secular liberal playbook. Mob lynching to death threats from unknown persons, can the Indian media dare to even disagree? After all, this is exactly what we have been hearing from most media outlets since Modi Ji became PM to give them all a ‘chest pain’.
Choksi seems to have a keen observation of India’s political and social scenario. His excuses are just too politically correct. Looking at the ones he has used so far, we would not be surprised if he uses these excuses in near-future:
- Looking at the devastating floods in several Indian states, there is a threat to my life as I might be mistaken for a floatation device.
- I am afraid Dr Batra will spam my inbox to death with claims to cure my baldness
- The ED has seized all my gems, what will I do if they offer me Cadbury Gems to humiliate me?
- At least in Antigua, nobody says ‘Aapko Kaisa Mehsoos ho Raha hai’ when you are in Jail.
- I am afraid that now Punjab National Bank will extract its revenge on me by calling me incessantly to avail their credit card.
- I would definitely die if Bollywood decides to make a biopic on my life and lets Farah Khan direct it.
- What if CBI officials fit cameras in my jail cell and play ‘Big Boss’ with me?
- I am a scammer of diamonds and gold, I have class, what if to humiliate me, the CBI throws me in jail with gutkha and fodder scammers?
It is a shame that India is still called a developing country. Looking at the sheer number of Indian billionaires roaming around in the world, we should be perceived as a rich nation with rich absconders.